Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958

Mindfulness Meditations: COVID-19

CCHS Recommended Mindfulness Resources

Greetings my friends and colleagues, I and some of my esteemed members of the Columbus Mindfulness Team have collected a few resources and thoughts that may gently help us, if need be, to regain your equanimity and protect you from emotional overreaction and will allow us to rest in the bigger picture.

  • "We are all vulnerable and afraid, including me. None of us is exempt from this vulnerability, even those with professional name tags." -Rev. Joanne Laurence
  • "Go Placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence"
  • Equanimity is like the eye of the storm, the calm center, that is grounded in the knowledge that everything is constantly changing and much is out of our control.Think of a mature oak tree firmly rooted in the earth, it is not moved by the changing seasons or weather patterns. The tree owes this stability to its taproots.
  • Equanimity isn't gritting your teeth or white-knuckling it. Rather, it, caring deeply but with a sense of ease. For me-this is an on-going challenge-is the acceptance of the fact that I don’t have control over any given situation.
  • Equanimity and Mindfulness are closely interwoven. We can experience mindfulness from the beginning of our meditation practice, even if it's your first time.
  • In my own practices, Mindfulness allows me to witness not only my breath, but my thoughts, feelings, frustrations and unnamed  fears. Once I have recognized this brings me closer to an open mind and gives me the perspective to look at the bigger picture.
  • Remember what your grandmother used to tell you, “All these troubles will come out in the wash”

If you are curious and would like to explore deeper, may I suggest: A Clinician’s Guide to teaching Mindfulness by Christine Wolf (MD) 

A guide to some interesting YouTube beginners mindfulness explorations.
(Courtesy of Mr. Armando Rodriguez of the Columbus Mindfulness Team)

Why Mindfulness is a Superpower: an Animation:

Meditation 101 A Beginner’s Guide:

How Mindfulness Empowers Us: An Animation Narrated by Sharon Salzberg:

Teaching Tolerance Educator Self Care Webinars:

For Educators and Campus Leaders
Everyone needs breaks and a regular emphasis on self-care!  We can take care of others best when we take care of ourselves first.

We have a number of self-care resources and tips below for educators:
Apply SEL Signature Practices during virtual meeting times to continue building positive relationships among team members and fostering connections during this challenging time. 

  • Watch recent webinars, Taking SEL Virtual for Adults or Taking SEL Virtual for Students, from our team in partnership with the Personalized Learning Department.  
  • See our list of SEL Signature Practice examples below to cultivate engagement, positive connections, and a sense of security and belonging in all meetings, professional development sessions, and classes.

Welcoming Activity Examples

 Engaging Practice Ideas
  • Partner discussions
  • Share outs
  • Hold up answers in video conference meetings, etc.
  • Choose a favorite background for video conferences
  • Ask participants to share a favorite / cherished item at home
  • Pick a meeting theme for participants: wear sunglasses, wear a funny hat, etc.
  • Be creative! 

SEL in Action Videos
Check out our SEL in Action playlist on Youtube and see example practices of mindfulness, brain breaks, and other SEL skills!

Optimistic Closure Examples
End meetings with sentence stems like:
  • One key takeaway for me is...
  • One question that I still have...
  • One thing that was exciting / interesting for me was...
  • My next step will be...
  • This week, I'm looking forward to...
Have a final shout-out moment to cultivate team appreciation or ask each team member to share an Appreciation, Apology, or an Aha!

CASEL has compiled an Optimistic Closure handout sharing the value of closure and reflection along with many more ideas.

OB's Favorites

A Few of Steve O'Brien's Favorite Titles:
  •  The following titles are guides to mindfulness, meditation and life by writers and teachers from a range of backgrounds and traditions.

  • The Mindful Manifesto: How Doing Less and Noticing More Can Help Us Thrive is a Stressed-Out World, by Dr Jonty Heaversedge and Ed Halliwell (Hey House, 2010)

  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face, Stress, Pain and Illness, by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Delta, 1990) This book had a tremendous impact on my decision to pursue a practice of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in my own personal and professional life.

  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chodron (Shambhala 2000) Pema Chodron teaches with her usual humor and compassion on how to work with painful situations and emotions. Fortunately this gem is still in print.

If you would like to go even deeper into learning Mindfulness, may I suggest the following local resource: This is a proven training program that is designed not only for student, and teachers but for anyone one wants to learn how to be present to “what’s going on in each moment, rather than rushing through doing too much at once, and always thinking of the next task.”

Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners. 

Columbus is fully accredited by Cognia and is a member of the Marist Association of Secondary schools, the National Catholic Education Association and the Independent Schools of South Florida.